Dr Luke Kempton Of Counsel

Speaks:  English

Qualified: 1994 - Solicitor of England & Wales

Primary office:  London

Secondary office:  Birmingham

Dr Luke Kempton

With a PhD in biochemistry, it's no surprise that Luke Kempton's main focus is the Life Sciences, a sector he's been active in for around 15 years.

He mainly divides his time between patent litigation and transactional work, advising on transactions for both 'Big Pharma' and small biotech companies. Typical work includes drafting and negotiating licences, product acquisitions, clinical trial agreements, and manufacturing agreements.

Luke also leads the IP transactional team on a diverse range of other technologies, from hi tech to automotive. Whatever the sector, Luke ensures his clients know what IP they are buying in corporate deals, and drafts and negotiates licences to help them achieve their strategic objectives, either as part of larger deals or standalone transactions.

Luke was recognised as a 'patent star' in the IP Stars guide 2017.

Luke is recommended by Chambers UK for intellectual property and life sciences: transactional, and by The Legal 500 for intellectual property.

"Luke Kempton advises market leaders and emerging companies on all manner of collaboration and licence agreements. He is commended for his "great commitment to and focus on the sector."
Chambers UK


Transactional work

Life Science highlights include advising:

  • AstraZeneca on its a global strategic oncology collaboration with Merck to co-develop and co-commercialise AstraZeneca's Lynparza (olaparib) for multiple cancer types. As part of the agreement, Merck will pay AstraZeneca up to $8.5 billion in total consideration, including $1.6 billion upfront, $750 million for certain license options and up to $6.15 billion contingent upon successful achievement of future regulatory and sales milestones.
  • AstraZeneca on an innovative licensing agreement with a partnership of Belgian life sciences research institutes.
  • AstraZeneca on its licensing agreement with Orca Pharmaceuticals to develop inhibitors of retinoic acid-related orphan nuclear receptor gamma (RORγ)
  • AstraZeneca on agreements with diagnostic companies for the development of companion diagnostics.
  • VIB (a Belgian research institute) on the IP licence to the start-up Aelin Therapeutics.
  • Tusk Therapeutics (a start-up immuno-oncology company) on its in licences and manufacturing agreements.
  • argenX on its a worldwide exclusive license to RuiYi (formerly Anaphore) to develop in China and commercialize ARGX-109, a novel anti-IL-6 monoclonal antibody discovered and developed by arGEN-X.
  • argenX on several agreements with universities and CROs in respect of the development of its antibody drugs.
  • Gene therapy company Amsterdam Molecular Therapeutics (now Uniqure) in relation to  its IP transactional needs including research agreements, consultancy agreements, manufacturing agreements, licensing in and out of gene therapy technology, confidentiality agreements and MTAs.
  • The Health Protection Agency on a non-exclusive Material Transfer, Patent and Know-How License Agreement with GlaxoSmithKline for the development and manufacture of a 'next generation' polio vaccine which could be a major step in the eradication of polio.
  • Bial Portela on  separate cross-border licensing agreements for the development and commercialization of opicapone with Ono Pharmaceuticals for Japan,  Neurocrine Biosciences for the US and Jiangsu Wanbang Biopharmaceutical Group Co., Ltd. for China.
  • EUSA Pharma on the exclusive license agreement in which Aveo Oncology granted to EUSA the European rights to tivozanib for the treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma.
  • EUSA Pharma on the grant from Apeiron Biologics AG of exclusive global commercialization rights to the oncology product ISQETTE®. ISQETTE® is an antibody-based immunotherapy with orphan drug designation for the treatment of pediatric neuroblastoma.
  • Cambridge Antibody Technology Group (now MedImmune), Astex Pharmaceuticals, Bioxell, and others on numerous collaboration and licensing deals.
  • Eisai on the acquisition of the European rights to the antiepileptic Zebinix from the Portuguese company Bial for €95 million.
  • Eisai on its acquisition of the European rights to the intrathecal painkiller Prialt from Elan for $100 million and a few years later on its subsequent disposal to Riemser Pharma.
  • The Japanese pharmaceutical company Astellas on its $100 million transaction with the US company Neurogesx  for the acquisition of the capsaicin patch Qutenza and several years later on the disposal of the rights to Qutenza in Europe, Middle East and Africa to Grünenthal.
  • Astellas on a US $90 million-plus collaboration and licence agreement with US biopharmaceutical company Optimer Pharmaceuticals Inc. Under the agreement, Astellas gained the right to develop and commercialise fidaxomicin tablets in Japan for the treatment of Clostridium Difficile Infection.
  • A multinational  consumer product company on their scientific agreements (CDAs, MTAs, collaboration agreements, service agreements, student sponsorship etc) with suppliers, universities, institutions and CROs.
  • Drafting and negotiating all the clinical trial site agreements for two worldwide Phase I clinical trials for a European biotech company.
  • Drafting and negotiating drug manufacturing agreements - including those for a large US biotech corporation, a UK big pharma company and UK biotech companies.

Patent litigation

Highlights include:

  • Acting for the Kennedy Trust for Rheumatology Research to defend three patents for the use of infliximab (Remicade®) in combination with methotrexate - the first biosimilar patent litigation to get to trial in the English courts.
  • Acting successfully for Fujifilm Kyowa Kirin Biologics in patent litigation against Abbvie relating to a biosimilar to Humira®.
  • Acting for Novozymes and coordinating multijurisdictional (including Germany, the Netherlands, France and Belgium) patent litigation against DSM relating to an industrial enzyme. Luke coordinated the litigation which required an in depth understanding of molecular biology and biochemical techniques and involved conducting many experiments to prove validity and infringement. There was also a concurrent EPO opposition.

Career & Recognition

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